Creating a business. What is strategic planning: Types of corporate strategies to know.

 Strategic planning is about coordinating your organization through the process of identifying and clarifying the direction, allocation of resources, and goals. You may start off with an intended strategy, this is an original plan, however the process of strategic planning often means your will revisit, discard and create new information as you respond to issues as they arise. This process will lead to you developing an emergent strategy versus the original intended strategy.

What is the interrelationship between strategic HR planning and corporate or business strategy? You need HR strategies to be able to implement your organizational objectives.  Employees are who allow organizations to achieve success and when human assets are planned using strategic HR, you will be sure that employees are managed and matched to your organization’s strategy.

Using a HR Assistant as a business partner ensures that your strategy not only includes being able to carry out HR activities, but also an action plan that will continuously assess the environment. Assistants can assist and contribute to your organization’s performance.

As an example, a growth strategy will mean your HR plan will have a strong focus on recruitment, selection, training, and orientations, while if you are concerned about not currently meeting organizational goals, you will have to have a strong HR focus on managing layoffs, turnovers, difficulties with motivation and increased demands on your remaining workforce as you implement a restructuring strategy.

The impact of failing to utilize a HRA, may mean you won’t know or ever have known the position of employee’s competencies able to meet your organizational needs. It matters to have your strategy interrelated with your HR practices.

The strategic planning process (Belcourt & J.McBey, 2016, pp. 10-21):

  1. Define:
    1. What is your mission? The purpose of your organization related to the needs of you customers and values. Why are we here, what do we do and for whom?
    2. What is your vision? This identifies your long-term goals and communicates your purpose and values, i.e., where are you going?
    3. What do you value? This will be your beliefs that will regulate individual, group and team behaviors in your organization.
  1. Develop your objectives:
    1. In SMART terms create goals that specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, to determine what your organization attends to achieve.
  1. Take time to understand the environment:
    1. Complete a PEST, political, economic, social and technological analysis of the environment.
  1. Identify your competitive advantage through:
    1. Knowing your core competencies (resources and capabilities that you see as the most central to your organizations success and work).
    2. Complete a SWOT, strength, weakness, opportunities, threats analysis.
  1. Determine your competitive position, value proposition and business strategy.
  2. Implement the strategy, then create your policy and programs.
  3. Evaluate performance.

 So, you say to yourself, okay, I can follow these steps myself, why do I need HRA or Practitioner? Obtaining and managing human assets can involve perspectives, and theories that you may not be familiar with. As an example, utilizing behavioral theories can support your strategy, and different strategies require different behaviors from your employees or in attracting new talent. Utilizing different perspective and theories can start at recruitment. Even the words you use to attract talent (employees) and manage talent matters.

When you are ready to implement your strategy, a HRA can support you in ensuring your HR practices back you and your organization’s strategy by not only determining KSAO’s but can also utilize different perspectives and theories to help you attract, develop and retain human assets that are synchronized with your organization’s strategy. In other words, through aligning your HR Planning with your organization’s strategy, you will find and retain the right fit and number of employees.

Continue reading for more on corporate strategies which may help you identify your current corporate strategic plan or contract a HRA to support you through this process.

 As discussed, there are different types of corporate strategies. To start the process of strategic planning, it’s important to identify where you are currently. Corporate strategies include restructuring, growth, stability, and business (Belcourt & J.McBey, 2016, pp. 10-21). Each of these pathways are involved in directing the organizations future and performance targets all of which impacts your HR practices.

If you would like to identify your organization with having plans to build a competitive focus (Business strategy) you can implement either a cost leadership, differentiation or focus strategy (Belcourt & J.McBey, 2016, pp. 10-21).

  1. Cost Leadership means you will obtain a competitive advantage through lower costs but offer the same or similar products or services as a competitor.
  2. Differentiation strategy is when you decide to focus on identifying differences that are meaningful to the utility of your products and services to distinguish you from competitors.
  3. Focus strategy is about having a niche where you can meet the needs of a specific segment of an industry.

When you are attempting to maintain clients, customers, products and market, your aim will be implementing a Stability strategy. This isn’t to say you always implement a no change strategy which means you are satisfied with all levels of your current growth. Instead, you can implement a pause and process strategy or harvest and profit strategy (Belcourt & J.McBey, 2016, pp. 10-21):

  1. No change strategy—satisfied with their current level of growth;
  2. Pause and proceed strategy – you can wait for the economy to improve, or if experiencing rapid growth, now is the time slow down and complete tasks to meet workplace culture, policies and programs goals.
  3. Harvest or Profit strategies – Sometimes it will be a right fit when a stability strategy is realized or emergent to focus on generating profits, this may mean you will sacrifice some of your market share.

If you’re currently expanding your operations in areas like revenue, sales, market and customers, implementing a growth strategy will be helpful.

An Incremental growth strategy is used when you are aiming for an average or lower than average growth (Belcourt & J.McBey, 2016, pp. 10-21). You will aim to:

  1. Expand your clients or customers;
  2. Increase the products you offer;
  3. Change or add to your distribution network;
  4. Take advantage of new technologies.

If your organization is currently not meeting goals, you may want to implement a restructuring strategy, a turnaround or retrenchment strategy in which you will try to increase the viability of your organization. Perhaps, even a divestiture strategy, where you will participate in the sale of a division in your organization. Lastly, a liquidation or bankruptcy strategy are also options to examine.

In my next weblog I will continue to talk about HR Planning and introduce some HR strategies.

Thanks for reading.


Belcourt, M., & J.McBey, K. (2016). Strategic Human Resources Planning (6 ed.). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Nelson Education Ltd.

Belcourt, M., Kenneth McBey, Y. H., & Yap, M. (2013). Strategic Human Resources Planning (5ed. pp.4-51). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Nelson Education Ltd.

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